Celebrity chef Nathan Lyon ('94)

Celebrity chef Nathan Lyon (’94)

Yesterday, Western Virginia and especially the Shenandoah Valley were treated to one long awaited (and for some, long hoped for) snow day. It was perfectly timed, arriving the week before the inauguration of JMU President Jon Alger, yet after most preparations were made.

Our snow day, at least according to my Facebook feed, meant big pots of savory soups and warm, comfort foods. I’m eager to find out what Cameron Young (’15) and Morgan Robinson (’13) cooked up. Cameron, by the way, recently learned that his new cooking club, Cooking at Madison, has been approved as an official JMU club.

Be the Change personality and celebrity chef Nathan Lyon (’94) would, no doubt, approve of Cameron and Morgan’s interest in food, as well as our snow day fare. The right food for the right season is Nathan’s message. He is an enthusiastic advocate for buying local, fresh foods and of sustainable cooking, which are healthier for the environment, better for health in general and very, very tasty.

After graduating from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science and a minor in Public Health, Nathan backpacked his way across Europe, learning about local customs, culture, and cuisine. Although every town and country along Nathan’s journey provided its own culinary lesson, the watershed moment occurred in an outdoor market just outside of Florence, Italy: an old woman, agog at the massive amount of produce Nathan was stockpiling, eagerly asked, “Why are you buying so much food? Why not just buy fresh every day?” Nathan immediately dumped out half his basket and began pondering those two simple questions. It was in that market, clutching a wheel of cheese, that Nathan discovered his truth: great food starts fresh. (from Nathan’s website)

Ever since, Nathan has been on a mission to promote healthy and sustainable foods.

We learned this week that Nathan, along with chefs Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) and Ted Allen (host of “Chopped’), is featured in the Spring 2013 edition of Celebrity Cooking magazine. Nathan has also published a book, “Great Food Starts Fresh,” which the Washington Post named one of the top cookbooks of 2012.

He’s also starring in a new series Good Food America with Nathan Lyon on Veria, a network about healthy living.

Check them all out. They are mmmmmmm…….good.

(Click the embedded link above to see a digital copy of Celebrity Cooking – page 80 – but be patient. It takes a little while to load.) You can also catch up with Nathan on Facebook,  his website and his WordPress blog.

You can learn more about Cooking at Madison from Tyler McAvoy’s (’13) story.

About James Madison University
This blog is about the people of James Madison University — a caring, committed and engaged community spread all over the world, making lives better and brighter, healthier and safer, kinder and bolder. As Gandhi suggested, we are taking steps to BE the CHANGE we wish to see in the world. And these are our stories....

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